How healthy are your sleeping habits — or, to use the new trendy term, sleep hygiene?
Not maintaining consistency can make you feel tired even if the overall amount you sleep still meets the minimum of seven hours a night.
Until you find a way to make your sleep schedule on your days off come close to what you do on work days, you may feel tired all the time. And this can impact your health and productivity.
Commit to Good Sleep Habits
You might be able to get away with erratic sleep habits in your earlier 20s but it definitely catches up with as you get older — and the potential penalty upon your health can become graver with each subsequent decade.
Good sleep hygiene also includes laying off the snooze button on your alarm and instead committing to a consistent wake-up time.
Snoozing for nine minutes between alarms doesn’t give your body a chance to fully fall asleep and regain energy.
How Else Can You Improve Your Sleep Hygiene?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep — anything above or below that amount doesn’t cut it.
Additional best practices include:
- Limiting daytime naps to 30 minutes
- Avoiding stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine close to bedtime; have your coffee fix in the morning
- Going easy on the amount of alcohol you consume right before bedtime, as overdoing it might result in your waking up in the middle of the night
- Exercising to promote good quality sleep
- Not eating foods too close to bedtime that has the potential to keep you up at night
- Ensuring adequate exposure to natural light during the day
- Establishing a regular relaxing bedtime routine — and striving to avoid emotionally upsetting activities right before going to sleep
- Making sure that your sleep environment is comfortable
- Reevaluating your sleeping schedule or seeking medical help if have any erratic patterns in sleep, including insomnia or chronic oversleeping
It’s All About Discipline
Practicing good sleep hygiene is about self-discipline: exercise it in one area of your life and you stand a greater chance of applying it to other key areas, like sticking to a budget.
Readers, what kind of sleep hygiene do you have?